Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo, has not resigned and will not resign anytime soon, Government spokesperson, Jeff Ramsay, has stated.
Matambo has been charged with a single count of corruption and is accused of acting corruptly while serving as Botswana Development Corporation (BDC)’S managing director, sometime around 2005.
“I can confirm that I have been charged and I cannot say much because I am constrained,” Matambo said earlier this week when questioned about his summons and whether he would be resigning from cabinet in light of a criminal case against him.
In the past ministers who had been slapped with graft charges all would resign from cabinet.
However, Matambo’s stay at the helm of the Ministry of Finance has sparked speculation that President Ian Khama is giving his Finance Minister preferential treatment.
Around 2008, Khama forced then Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Guma Moyo, out of cabinet after being informed that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions was about to haul him before court over corruption. Moyo was never charged.
Last year, former Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Dikgakgamatso Seretse, also resigned from cabinet following a corruption charge.
“I have no comment,” Matambo said, when pressed on whether, like previous ministers, he would resign.
In a separate interview about Matambo, Ramsay said that although previously ministers accused of corruption have stepped down from cabinet, there is no law that forces a minister charged to resign.
“He has not resigned as of now and there is also no constitutional requirement to do so,” said Ramsay.
Defending Matambo’s stay in cabinet, Ramsay said that it was important to also access the cases separately, stating that Seretse resigned on his own volition but said nothing about Moyo.
He said that much will depend on what they had to say.
“We will see as the case unfolds.”
When contacted on whether or not Matambo should resign, Guma Moyo said it should be a case by case approach.
“There is no fast rule for it. Each case is different.”
Moyo said he resigned from his post because his case was politically motivated.
“The President explained to me the reasons behind my case, and I believed him. It’s now water under the bridge,” he said.